Would a Fuji XE-2 with the pancake lenses suit street shooting?

Messages
6,998
Name
Garry
Edit My Images
Yes
I'm thinking of picking up an inexpensive (jacket) pocketable body with suitable lenses as a carry-around for street photography. I've seen that I can pick up an XE-2 for under £200, which makes the two pancake lenses (18mm and 27mm) affordable.

I usually shoot a Sony A6000 but there aren't any suitable pancake lenses for that, which makes it non-pocketable. Plus, I've had GAS for a Fuji for quite a while now.

Has anyone used this combination (XE-2 with 18 or 27mm lens) for street photography? Or anything similar? Does it seem like a nice, cheapish option? Is there anything I should know? Thanks for any insight.
 
Messages
2,297
Name
Chris
Edit My Images
Yes
I use the xe2 with the 27mm as a walkabout kit and its fine nice and unobstrusive
As far as pocketable is concerned it depends on the pocket ,it fits biggish patch pockets but its a bit bulky for side pockets
 
Messages
5,982
Name
Dave
Edit My Images
No
I had an XE-2 with an18mm and it was OK but I prefer the X100T I have now. Maybe a focal length preference. The X100 is more pocketable.
 
Messages
6,079
Name
David
Edit My Images
Yes
Having owned the X-E2/XF27mm and XF18mm and several X100 series cameras, I would take the latter everytime for street work, for several reasons:-

1) The 35mm (FF) FOV feels more right
2) The near silent leaf shutter is great for discrete work
3) The OVF option allows you to 'see' subjects before they enter the frame

For the X-E2+27mm+18mm money you are in X100T territory, but if you could stretch to the X100F you will have a better handling experience (the joystick makes moving the AF point very easy)
 
Messages
6,313
Name
Ian
Edit My Images
No
Just offering a different view, but 35mm is not my focal length. I much prefer 28 & 50. If they'd updated the X70 into something useful (rather than the XF10?) I might have picked that up. For digital, an X-E camera and 18mm would be my choice for street photography over an X100. I'd pick up the 27mm too because I really like the 40mm AoV. The only (mild) issue I have is that the 18mm f/2 is an old lens (it was one of their first) and they're not updating it - rather releasing an f/1.4 version which will certainly not be a pancake...

I guess the other difference is interchangeable lenses. With the X-E2 you can get both pancakes and try them. If you buy second hand you can sell the one you don't get on with at very little loss. I think that's another point for the X100, is that people sometimes don't want to get into another interchangeable system.

I sold my Canon 50D many years ago to buy an X-E1 as my primary camera. Best decision I ever made. The 'baby' X-camera lineup is a wonderful little package. Overall, I don't think you can really go wrong with either an X-E or an X100. It'll depend on your personal preference I think.
 
Messages
19,874
Name
George.
Edit My Images
No
Gary, I know this is totally different from what you have asked, but as you know my preferred type of photography is candid street style. I have used the Fuji-X system for many years including the X-E2 and still have pretty much everything in the Fuji-X system including the GFX units. Because of surgery two years ago I needed to get something small & light to carry around as I was not allowed to carry heavy things for quite some time, all is pretty much make to normal now though. The camera I bought was a Sony RX100M6 and to this day it is my personal opinion as being the best candid street style camera on the planet. To this extent I very seldom use any of my Fuji-X cameras now for street photography.

For portability, versatility, speed of focus, image quality, video, etc, etc, it just can't be beaten in my opinion for the type of photography you want to do. OK the RX100M6 is probably out of the range with what you wanted to spend but the RX100M3 is within your price bracket, so before you go down the Fuji-X route I would thoroughly recommend you look at & consider the RX100 cameras.

In no way am I knocking the Fuji-X system as they are truly "Excellent" units and I am still a huge Fuji fan but the X-E2 is not in my opinion as good as the RX100 series for candid street photography.
 
Last edited:
Messages
7,099
Name
Terry
Edit My Images
Yes
I use an X30 as a walk about Street camera. Though my X E2 is not that much bigger.
My XT30 seems much bigger. All of them would need a large pocket what ever lens.
 
Messages
1,345
Name
Nick
Edit My Images
Yes
My most used combo (and always for street) is the 27mm on the X-T2, which I'm pretty certain is bigger than the X-E2.

It's fine for all my hoody/light jacket pockets, as I find it's usually depth, front to back with the lens on rather than height or width that dictates pocketability. And as a camera/lens combo, I really enjoy it, both the user experience and the results.

Over the past few years I've come up with a pretty radical approach. People go to great lengths and great expense to get kit that fits their pockets.... I've found that it's much easier and cheaper to buy clothing that fits my cameras. :ROFLMAO:
 
Last edited:
OP
garryknight
Messages
6,998
Name
Garry
Edit My Images
Yes
Thanks, everyone, for your thoughts.

Alternatively, how about an X100 or X100S for similar money?
1) The 35mm (FF) FOV feels more right
I looked at the X100 and was tempted. The 35mm equivalent lens put me off. With my Sony A6000, my main camera, I ended up leaving the 50mm f/1.8 on the front as it suited my style best. I can stay a little further away from the subject and get the same width of field with a slightly different parallax. My iPhone XS also does 52mm and 26mm nicely, though with less control. I have a Neewer 35mm MF for the Sony but the field of view either feels a bit too wide or a bit too tight some of the time.

The idea is to get the body plus the two pancake lenses to get more into shooting wider than I normally do, but with primes. The XE-2 has excellent sharpness because they didn't put in an antialias filter so I can get sharper images than with my Sony - and that's been a bugbear from the start. I've been looking at XE-2 photos on Flickr and I love the film looks, too. I'd have to work quite a bit to emulate those on the Sony.

For digital, an X-E camera and 18mm would be my choice for street photography over an X100. I'd pick up the 27mm too because I really like the 40mm AoV.
...
With the X-E2 you can get both pancakes and try them. If you buy second hand you can sell the one you don't get on with at very little loss. I think that's another point for the X100, is that people sometimes don't want to get into another interchangeable system.
This was my thinking, too. The 27mm gives me the width I'm looking for. And the 18mm is great for taking on holiday. And, yes, I do want an interchangeable system. I was probably like most people when I looked at the Fuji way of doing things: "Gosh! Where's the PASM dial?" quickly followed by, "Oh!" when I understood how it all works.

In no way am I knocking the Fuji-X system as they are truly "Excellent" units and I am still a huge Fuji fan nut the X-E2 is not in my opinion as good as the RX100 series for candid street photography.
As you know, I'm a fan of your work, George, but I want to try something different from a Sony, and I have Fuji GAS right now. Plus the RX100M3 costs more than I want to spend right now. If I get the XE-2 it leaves more money for extra lenses later on.

Over the past few years I've come up with a pretty radical approach. People go to great lengths and great expense to get kit that fits their pockets.... I've found that it's much easier and cheaper to buy clothing that fits my cameras. :ROFLMAO:
Yep! Me too! I'm a photographer, so I'm perfectly happy to wear a gilet. And my outdoor jackets always have pockets big enough for a CSC with a small lens, at least.

A concise answer to the Subject of my post. I love it! :D

You've all given me reasons to rethink various aspects of the subject, which is what I wanted. There are other reasons I've been looking at the XE-2, and some of them might also apply to the X100 and other Fuji cameras - I haven't gone through all of the spec sheets and reviews, but they've all convinced me to go with the XE-2 right now.

1. The XE-2 has a larger LCD than the X100. Only 0.3" but 3" is what I like and am used to.

2. The fact that the XE-2 has separate AEL and FEL buttons is a big factor for me. I don't care much for joysticks and focus points as street shooting very often has to be fast. I mostly shoot manual, and I feel that setting AEL while watching a scene develop, then hitting FEL just before hitting the trigger will get me more usable shots than I could with the Sony.

3. I can set it to manual focus, but still hit the AFL button if I'm not sure I've got it right. And in some light conditions, the camera will do a better job than I can.

4. There is a zoomed-in focus check view available in AF mode, by clicking the rear dial. I wish all cameras had this.

5. There's a Leica mount available. I can have fun playing with a lot of lenses. And there are some nice, cheap Meike and Neewer MF lenses, too.

6. It has 4 programmable buttons - more than any other camera I've used, I think. Not very important, but could be useful.

7. I can see that little bendy flash coming in handy for close-up fill or bounce with portraits of friends.

8. I can get the XE-2 in black. Might not be as pretty as silver/black, but better for candid street photography.

If any of this sparks any thoughts from any of you, I'd love to hear them.
 
Messages
14,004
Name
Rich
Edit My Images
Yes
I used my X-E2 for ages with a very good copy of the XC 16-50 lens
Preferred it to the 18-55 for the extra 2mm at the wide end plus it was smaller and lighter.
Went for the zooms to add stabilisation, wasn't overly impressed with the 27 or the 18
Carried it on lots of European city breaks and still print the photos I took with it
 
Messages
5,982
Name
Dave
Edit My Images
No
I've looked through my LIghtroom catalogue and the XE-2 lasted less than 800 photos before I got rid. I must have found the camera almost as annoying to use as the Panasonics I've tried!

My X100T has over 2000 photos in the catalogue even though it's only slightly less clunky in the focusing department than the 18mm lens was. I keep thinking of getting rid but the only option that appeals is the X100V.
 
Messages
1,584
Name
Andy
Edit My Images
Yes
If you want APS-C, fixed 28mm 2.8 lens equivalent in a pocketable camera, the Ricoh GR series fits the bill! I’m seriously contemplating one myself!
 
Messages
1,584
Name
Andy
Edit My Images
Yes
True! As I always do I seem to have gone off topic :D
 
Messages
6,313
Name
Ian
Edit My Images
No
I have a Leica-FX adapter for my X-T2 and have also had an M42 adapter in the past.

One issue with the pancakes is that the MF ring is tiny and difficult to operate, and not very resistant to being knocked. They're not really designed as MF lenses (no Fuji FX lens is, in my opinion). I tried zone focussing with the 27mm lens and it ended up all over the place just because it kept getting knocked. Putting (for example) my 28mm Summicron on there, with distance scales and a focus tab, transforms zone focus shooting. It's the one area manual focus is still quicker than AF. No need to check the viewfinder, just set the aperture, set the distance scale and let the camera deal with the exposure. The only downside is the crop factor to field of view.
 
Messages
15,467
Name
Keith
Edit My Images
No
Personally I'd prefer something like an X--T1 and a 35 F2, nicer lens, preferable POV [IMO] and you get a tilt screen which can oft be handy for street. It's a bit bulkier, but I've never gotten this 'pocket friendly' thing, just because it's for street. Stick it in a small messenger bag when not in use
 
Messages
3,635
Edit My Images
No
I find that absolutely anything will do for taking pictures in an urban environment. The trick, so far as I'm concerned is two fold: be as close to invisible as you can manage and anticipate the moment that tells your story. The so-called "travel zooms" are tiny and unthreatening, while giving you the choice of working up close or standing well back.

Man leaning against wall Heavitree Road Coop TZ70 P1030486.JPG
Bearded young man with glasses pleased expression HX90 00194.JPG
 
Messages
2,823
Name
Jim
Edit My Images
Yes
I’d go for the Ricoh GR series, very compact, APS-C sensor, sharp lens, and snap focusing is perfect for street. Oh yes and I’ll be putting my mint GRii on the classifieds very shortly
 
Messages
21
Edit My Images
Yes
Just getting back into photography. Last camera died (Sony RX100) and hadn’t bothered to replace it for donkey’s years - used my phone or nothing at all... After loads of research and its attendant agonising I opted for an XE and 27mm. I liked the fixed lens Fuji’s but the option of getting a zoom in the future was the decider. It will be my only camera (apart from the Holga which I’ll keep and the sadly unused Hasselblad kit which will be up for sale after lockdown) Mostly intend to do street photography with it. Only had it for three days and still lost in the menus... :)
 
Last edited:
OP
garryknight
Messages
6,998
Name
Garry
Edit My Images
Yes
Messages
15,467
Name
Keith
Edit My Images
No
I find that absolutely anything will do for taking pictures in an urban environment. The trick, so far as I'm concerned is two fold: be as close to invisible as you can manage and anticipate the moment that tells your story. The so-called "travel zooms" are tiny and unthreatening, while giving you the choice of working up close or standing well back.

View attachment 312589
View attachment 312590

Yup, anything that can capture the image, mostly people don't pay any heed and they won't notice the difference between one camera and a slightly larger one. If they're noticing you at all it matters not. Some of my own personal fav street shots were taken with big chunky dslr and not so small lenses, I think I prefer when they do notice and give you the dagger stares :D

Nikon D90 [can't remember the lens but maybe the kit lens]
Hardy old Dubliner by K G, on Flickr

Also D90 with a 70-200
Sing up by K G, on Flickr

D800E [not a camera you can hide easily] with an 85mm
Intense siesta, Kuşadası by K G, on Flickr
 
Messages
19,874
Name
George.
Edit My Images
No
Congrat's on your new purchase Gary, it's a fine unit. "Enjoy".
 
Messages
2,297
Name
Chris
Edit My Images
Yes
Very nice have fun with it, it might be worth picking up a UV filter ,not for any other reason than the lens cap is not very secure and is likely to drop off and get lost (mine did) and a filter gives you lens protection for not a lot of cash
 
Messages
19,874
Name
George.
Edit My Images
No
So how are you getting on with your new X-E2 set up Gary ?
 
OP
garryknight
Messages
6,998
Name
Garry
Edit My Images
Yes
We're still in lockdown, George. I've taken it out a few times and got lots (and lots and lots) of shots in the local woods, some flowers, and photos of horses near the local stables, but no street shots yet. We're allowed to go a bit further than local from Monday onwards. Don't know if I want to risk going into central London that soon as a) it's not "a bit further", and b) it will be warm and everyone and his dog (and his dog's dog) will be heading there. I'll probably wait a few days.

I have to say, though, I love the 23mm f/2.8 lens! Nice, sharp images, with little edge blurring when stopped down a bit. And the X series' in-camera processing - meaning the film simulations, Dynamic Range, and so on - are something I've never really had in a camera before. I seem to recall that my Nikon D5100 had something like that, and most cameras have some kind of DR, but the way Fuji does it is brilliant. Right now I'm head over heels with Classic Chrome, with +1 hi tone, +1 lo tone, +2 colour, and +2 sharp. And the mono shots are great, too. I also got the FC 14-45 as a walkaround for when I go on holiday; and a 23mm (probably the Viltrox), the 50-230 and the 18mm are on my buying list. And if I get too bored (!) I've now got an M42 mount, so I'll be rooting around in the bargain bins at some point.

Which Fuji gear do you have, if you don't mind my asking?
 
Messages
19,874
Name
George.
Edit My Images
No
We're still in lockdown, George. I've taken it out a few times and got lots (and lots and lots) of shots in the local woods, some flowers, and photos of horses near the local stables, but no street shots yet. We're allowed to go a bit further than local from Monday onwards. Don't know if I want to risk going into central London that soon as a) it's not "a bit further", and b) it will be warm and everyone and his dog (and his dog's dog) will be heading there. I'll probably wait a few days.

I have to say, though, I love the 23mm f/2.8 lens! Nice, sharp images, with little edge blurring when stopped down a bit. And the X series' in-camera processing - meaning the film simulations, Dynamic Range, and so on - are something I've never really had in a camera before. I seem to recall that my Nikon D5100 had something like that, and most cameras have some kind of DR, but the way Fuji does it is brilliant. Right now I'm head over heels with Classic Chrome, with +1 hi tone, +1 lo tone, +2 colour, and +2 sharp. And the mono shots are great, too. I also got the FC 14-45 as a walkaround for when I go on holiday; and a 23mm (probably the Viltrox), the 50-230 and the 18mm are on my buying list. And if I get too bored (!) I've now got an M42 mount, so I'll be rooting around in the bargain bins at some point.

Which Fuji gear do you have, if you don't mind my asking?
That's good to hear Gary, glad you're getting on well with it. Might even encourage me to start using my Fuji stuff again.

My Fuji-X kit these days is two X-T2 units and two X-H1 units. As for lenses I have they are all XF units including the 10-24mm, 23mm F1.4, 35mm F1.4, 18-55mm, 55-200mm (my fav'), 50-140mm, 60mm F2.4, 90mm, 200mm F2, 100-400mm. I also use an adapted 105mm Micro Nikkor (D) lens for my macro/close up work.
Must admit though that I very seldom use any of it these days as dare I say it I just love my Sony RX10M4 & RX100M6 units.

I also shoot virtually all of my studio stuff on the Fuji-GFX medium format units. I no longer personally shoot professionally so everything I do these days is for myself although I do still have a thriving motor sport photography company but leave all the hands on stuff to employees. Getting lazy I guess as the years creep on. :):)
 
Messages
19,874
Name
George.
Edit My Images
No
Gosh, George! You must have no money left after buying all that lot! :D
In fairness its all been built up over quite a few years matey certainly not over night. I don't do too bad financially though as they say. :) :)
 
Messages
19,874
Name
George.
Edit My Images
No
@garryknight Hi Garry, I guess you're getting on very well with your new X-E2 set up, are we likely to be seeing some of your work with it on TP and on the Fuji-X thread ?
 
Top